Alan Maskin, Blair Payson, John Nebendahl and Phil Turner designed a rolling table for Degenerate Art Ensemble’s (DAE) performance of On the Beach in New York City. Dubbed the “Concorde Table” for its “nose” that droops down like the airplane of the same name, the table unfolds and rolls, adapting to the artists’ needs during the performance.
The versatile table is 18’ long by +/-2’-0” wide when fully unfolded and 6’ long by 4’-6” wide when in its folded/collapsed position. It is made of plywood and has 12 casters, 2 piano hinges and 2 swivel bearings. It was designed to be entirely disassembled for transport and offer some acoustic variety over its length as its surface is “played” like an instrument with small mallets during the performance.
DAE was one of five artistic teams selected by Robert Wilson, the opera’s original designer and director, to stage a section of On the Beach, a reinterpretation of the seminal Einstein on the Beach (originally premiered at the Avignon Festival in 1976). It was the first time in over 25 years that Wilson and Philip Glass, the opera’s original composer, encouraged artists to create their own artistic vision of this 20th century masterpiece. Wilson developed the individual approaches with the different teams and accompanied the final rehearsals at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.
See a video of DAE rehearsing with the “Concorde Table” at the Moore Theatre in Seattle here.